In the course at the Moscow Sports Palace "Megasport" fourth phase of the Grand Prix series, Marina Zueva entirely embodied the famous saying of the legendary Tamara Moskvina: "In a competition, put the coach in the cupboard.". Zueva was interviewed, & talked with friends, her whole appearance indicating that her athletes did not need her care every minute.. Actually, no, it was clear that her students, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who came to Moscow as Olympic champions and two-time world champions, were out of reach.
- Absolutely all of the support from Tessa and Scott in this new year, - said Marina, commenting on the program of its main beneficiaries. - They are unique, and the fact that they are difficult to rebuild coupled with difficult positions. Therefore interesting lifts . I would like to see in the next year the complexity of lifts was somehow reflected in the rules of ISU - some extra points or bonuses. When you leave old elements in the program, they can be practically trained. In our case, the work took a whole abyss of time. This, incidentally, was one of the reasons that the performance at the tournament category "B" before the "Grand Prix" for us was particularly crucial. We chose Oberstdorf.
- And why not here?
- It so happened that on the eve of departure to Germany, Scott slightly pulled his neck in a lift in the performance of the short dance. Our physiotherapist then said, he did not see any problems with continuing training. Much worse would be that the guys have to spend eight hours in a plane in one position. There would be a real chance of this injury worsening and resulting in a lot of problems, just out of the blue. Therefore,, we had to refuse to compete at Oberstdorf, although I myself even had time to check in and get a boarding pass.
I offered to Tessa and Scott to change that unfortunate lift - do not do it at least in the first event - Skate Canada. But then it was up to the skaters themselves: champions - they are the champions.
- Incidentally, this happened in the course of this lift in Canada, when the judges will not give it full marks?
- Tessa's dress wound around Scott and they were "stuck." If all this happened at the end of the season, I'm more than confident that the guys would have managed the situation. But then Scott, rather than make a change in position, as intended by design, in surprise, just stopped between rotations.
- Even if you do not take into account the interrupted lift, I must confess that as never seen before, your athletes have such a number of small flaws.
- I agree, it is so: it is the costs of the rest of the final stage of preparation. Scott became ill after his injury - a bad cold, so we just did not have time to do the amount of work that was planned to be executed . So we had to go to the competion in less than the best condition. Therefore, I am particularly pleased with how Virtue / Moir were in Canada: for his state at the time, they did even more than I thought they could.
Again, I repeat: it is easy to be in shape at the beginning of the season, performing all the old: elements, and transition with just the new position of rotation. Everything they do Tessa and Scott, you had to start to learn from scratch this year. I'm not complaining, you understand . Just it explains why the beginning of the season went this way. But I always hold the opinion that the champions have to move their sport forward; and have to be innovative.
- What can you say about the American pair Meryl Davis / Charlie White?
- Same thing as about Tessa and Scott: All the programs of the guys are new, with new elements. The only thing that Meryl and Charlie left from last season - a one lift in the free dance: I was asked for this by a judge. Like, a beautiful and unusual lift should not disappear after a single season. Otherwise, I wanted to do the same as the Canadian pair: the maximum complexity and maximum originality. Yet look at the Champions League? And the right to make adjustments primarily based on the league program.
- How and when did you get the idea to put the Virtue and Moira "Carmen"?
- That's what I thought five years ago, when Tessa and Scott just came out to the adult level. All people said that of the couple, only Scott can be seen. That he was a real dancer, shining bright.. But Tessa was beautiful but a shadow. By then, she was a brunette. So I began to think: what is it? Tessa was well built, had excellent technique. So, you just need to find the "it" program, which could have shown her full potential as a partner.
Previously, all the "love" themes in the performances of Virtue / Moir showed "as Scott loves Tessa." Perhaps, she was able to dance Carmen at 17 years. But it is hardly able to do so, as it turned out this season.
- What ideas did you use, starting to work on the production?
- Come up with something that in figure skating was not.
- And you decided to "give it sex"?
- I would say, dramatic sex. Of course, before starting work, I reviewed all the stagings of "Carmen" that ever existed in figure skating. I can honestly say: I personally stayed as close to the ideal for the musicianship and performance of "Carmen" by Natalai Bestemianova and Andrei Bukin. What made the task easier is that Tessa worked since childhood with a ballerina who taught both classical ballet and modern dance. I even invited her to help the ballet director: Still some things in ballet and modern dance are different from what is used in figure skating.
- Last summer, when you broke up with your partner in coaching Igor Shpilband, there were many predictions that the gap will provoke loss of quality presentations of your pairs. Have you have experienced With any negative effects due to the whole story?
- Of course. For me, it was already a tragedy that we had split up. However, continuing work on such terms Igor proposed , I did not think possible.
- Do you mean the desire to work with the new Igor pairs separate from you?
- Yes. He wrote me in a letter. He wants to have a separate group, which plans to work on the rink at a better time - and so on. I tried to negotiate, to explain that in my view there is no way to work together, that some students separately , and others in common, but Igor said that he had already made his decision and is not going to change it. So initially it was his decision, not mine.
- Did you find a Substitute Igor quickly?
- It was not an easy process. On the one hand, I knew that I would find a coach. In America, there are many fine professionals who work very well, even if not in the way I am used to. On the one hand that same Oleg Epstein, we are working with now, and which at one time helped a lot, and Maxim Stavisky, and Roman Kostomarov, and Ilya Averbukh, agreed immediately. In addition to Oleg I always am attracted to the work of various consultants in dance technique. Now it is Maurizio Margaglio.
- When in March, Virtue and Moir have become world champions, and Davis / White finished second, I have long had the feeling that the distribution of placings was not very fair, your second couple in Nice, I liked even more than your first couple. And within the group was there not controversy about this ?
- We have long had the rule that questions about the validity of a particular result is not discussed in the group at all. Competitions were held, medals awarded - everything! No discussion and no hard feelings. I myself have always teach all athletes that no matter what the outcome, we must be able to accept it. Knowing how to win and lose.
- But, you see, it may happen that the skaters suffer, suffer, suffer what seems unfair to them, and then just walk away from the coach.
- If "hate", then yes, it can blow up at the worst possible moment. And if it is right about everything, you quickly realize that the lesions are not a tragedy. It may not happen once - it may happen again. Meryl and Charlie came two weeks after the World Cup for Team Trophy and beat Tessa and Scott.
- You said before the tournament that your second American pair of brother and sister Shibutani was able to take second place in Moscow.
- Yes, I think that Maia and Alex had everything necessary to compete here. Some things, they perform better than anyone else. They do not just skate, they weave a pattern, linking the elements together. I would say that they have the most "gentle" glide, very deep edges riding on their blades. When they skate well, even the most complex pieces look very easy. Of course, in Moscow they had particularly difficult time - after all it is the first start of the new programs for them. But I now see that by the end of the season it will be very cool. And the season is going to be difficult, because it is the pre-Olympic one.
- Have you already developed the Olympic program for the students in your brain?
- Yes. And for a long time.
- There is a popular phrase that the Olympic program must be special.
- So in fact they are special, by definition, the program is--- Olympic. I would even say that the question is not particularly about programs. Above all, in fact, every champion has to bring something new to the sport. This is my goal for when I start to work on programs. In my opinion, we have achieved that goal..